Please note, I am not advocating anything illegal. There are plenty of legal options available to customers. You may not get satisfaction, but at least you may have made the company become aware of the issue.
For minor things, I don’t recommend the below steps. If a company includes a survey on your receipt, start there if you don’t think the local manager will address the problem. I went to a burger chain and ordered a chicken sandwich. It came back the color of a hamburger instead of being some shade of brown. As they were busy, I took the survey and the company sent me $15 in coupons.
For things that are not minor, you may want to either talk to someone at corporate level. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, the following steps may be warranted. In the U. S., contact your state’s Attorney-General office as well as the one in their state and the U. S. Attorney-General office. Also, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In some cases, you may want to contact the District Attorney in their county. Is it a pain to do all of these things? Yes, but if you don’t, you are encouraging the company to continue doing the same thing to other customers. I am about to do all of the above to a company that at best used misleading advertising. I doubt they will respond to my request for clarification, but getting several government agencies breathing down your neck tends to get a company’s attention a lot better and faster than a customer complaining. I will be praying for the company to do the right thing.
I will use a well-known company that was told by several of its low-mid level managers there was a problem. They raised the issue with someone in upper management over 7 years earlier. The upper management person ignored the warning. Ideally, the upper manager should have mentioned the issue to the CEO, but chose not to do so. Fast forward to 7 years later, the issue blew up in the company’s face. They did some major damage control, but it cost them in the short-run. It also damaged the company’s reputation. They were able to deflect the issue by doing damage control, but some customers were not happy and stopped buying from the company. Those customers are unlikely to ever visit the company’s numerous locations for a long time.
In addition, with the explosive growth of blogs, vlogs, and social media, it’s pretty easy to get the word out. I may name the company in question, especially if they take no action to make it right, but I will do so in a way that does not expose me to legal liability from the company.
Dad was a self-employed contractor. As such, he took pride in doing the right thing with customers. He always said any job worth doing was worth doing right the first time, a motto I learned from him. He went above and beyond customers’ expectations. He would get the occasional customer who thought he didn’t do enough. He did his best to address any concerns no matter how unreasonable it was. End result, most customers would give him high marks. Likewise, many hardware and paint stores would give him credit as they knew he would pay for the supplies if the customer stiffed him.
If you have children or grandchildren, what are you teaching them? Do your actions match your words? They will look at what you do and model your actions more than most of them will model your words when your words don’t match your actions.